AWS Tackling COVID-19 with Research Funding

Plus, Google was taking Cloud Next virtual – now, not so much. And find out what’s happening with Wipro and Cloudera.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

March 20, 2020

6 Min Read
Lab, science research

From pressing vendor reactions to COVID-19 to more channel-centric announcements, the week has not lacked for news. Check out what’s going on with AWS, Google Cloud, Wipro and Cloudera.

AWS Pours $20M Into COVID-19 Research

Research and scientific institutions that use Amazon Web Services could get a piece of the $20 million Amazon is committing to COVID-19 diagnostics, research and testing.


AWS’s Teresa Carlson

“The program will be open to accredited research institutions and private entities that are using AWS to support research-oriented workloads for the development of point-of-care diagnostics (testing that can be done at home or at a clinic with same-day results),” Teresa Carlson, vice president worldwide public sector at AWS, wrote in a blog on Friday. “Given the need, the emphasis initially will be on COVID-19, but we will also consider other infectious disease diagnostic projects.”

The AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative aims to bring about faster testing and earlier, accurate detection of the novel coronavirus that has spread into a global pandemic. One of the key areas where AWS says it can help is in delivering compute power that supports the analytics and machine learning needed to hasten understanding of COVID-19.

AWS already has recruited 35 startups, businesses and research institutions for the DDI.

“This is a global health emergency that will only be resolved by governments, businesses, academia and individuals working together to better understand this virus and ultimately find a cure,” Carlson said.

Google Postpones Online Version of Cloud Next

Likely hampered by San Francisco’s “shelter in place” requirements amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Google has indefinitely postponed the online version of its annual cloud conference.

A few weeks back, Google canceled the in-person event, which was scheduled to start April 6, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it would move forward with a remote replacement April 6-8.

That is not to be, however. This week, Google said it has axed Cloud Next 2020 altogether until “we have a better sense of the evolving situation.”

“Right now, the most important thing we can do is focus our attention on supporting our customers, partners, and each other,” Google said in a blog.

Google did not point to a specific reason for the change other than to reference the need to ensure the health and safety of employees, partners, customers and local communities, and adhere to state and federal decisions. It’s not a stretch to infer that Google is talking about the shelter in place edict in northern California, a restriction that would stymie the ability to record and roll out videos and other content even for a virtual event.

Wipro Launches Dedicated Microsoft Business Unit

More cloud-centric channel partners are specializing in just one or two vendors, and Wipro is the latest to join the trend.

The India-based systems integrator said this week it has launched its Microsoft Business Unit, built on Azure.

Microsoft and Wipro have worked together for a number of years; Wipro is a Microsoft Gold Competency Partner. Now, it is ramping up investment on the Azure side as it helps enterprise adopt more cloud platform and upgrade their technology.

“With this partnership, we will…


Wipro’s Bhanumurthy BM

…co-innovate in industry domain services focused on data, analytics, security and customer/employee experiences,” Bhanumurthy BM, president and COO of Wipro, said in a press release.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Channel Futures the software company is excited to see more global systems integrators forming dedicated divisions.

“These business units affirm the benefits our partners are seeing when they are able to drive deep with our solutions, and it is great to see this momentum continue,” the spokesperson said.

Wipro’s Microsoft Business Unit employs trained and certified Azure consultants and specialists. Platforms enterprises may deploy include:

  • Wipro’s Cloud Studio, which delivers migration for different workloads on Microsoft Azure, Data, Microsoft Dynamics 365. The studio is an “as-a-service” model for cloud transformation with standardized tools, technologies and processes.

  • Wipro’s LiVE Workspace, which uses Microsoft’s Modern Workplace, Microsoft 365 as well as LUIS and the Power platform for an out-of-the-box workplace accessible from anywhere, at any time, on any device.

  • Wipro’s Data Discovery Platform, which uses pattern discovery, machine learning and more.

Cloudera Brings CDP to Azure Marketplace

Cloudera has made its Data Platform, debuted late last year, available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Cloudera Data Platform, or CDP, is an analytics-as-a-service offering that resellers, system integrators and managed service providers may sell. Cloudera added CDP to Azure itself last November.


Cloudera’s Ram Venkatesh

One of the biggest benefits of CDP within Azure Marketplace comes in the form of unified billing, Ram Venkatesh, Cloudera’s vice president of engineering, wrote in a March 19 blog.

“Joint customers of Cloudera and Microsoft will be able to easily discover and provision CDP Public Cloud across all Azure regions,” he wrote. “Additionally, by procuring CDP through the Azure Marketplace, these customers can leverage integrated billing, i.e., the cost of CDP will be part of a single Azure bill, making procurement simple and friction-free.”

Overall, organizations can take advantage of data engineering and warehousing, and machine learning, more quickly, Microsoft said.

“This will open up new opportunities for our mutual customers, including an easier, faster path to deployment to meet their growing data engineering needs,” Scott Guthrie, senior vice president of cloud and AI at Microsoft, said in a prepared statement.

The Cloudera Data Platform integrates with Azure infrastructure services including Data Lake Storage Gen2, Kubernetes Service, Active Directory and more.

Channel partners specializing in these types of cloud services will want to keep an eye on Cloudera. Earlier this month, Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research, called the vendor “a company on the rise.”

“As data volumes continue to grow exponentially, it will be those that unlock the data at scale that will be called upon to support this growth,” Newman wrote in a March 10 blog. “Cloudera is addressing the challenges of growth leveraging open source, and in many cases being able to do so at a fraction of the price of some of the bigger hyperscale cloud offerings. This, plus its proven track record, should provide the market and potential customers a level of confidence that Cloudera is highly capable of enabling customers data environments from edge to cloud, on- and off-prem.”

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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